The Work of Justice Could Not Be Destroyed – Alma 42:15, 2 Nephi 2:13

13 Therefore, according to justice, the plan of redemption could not be brought about, only on conditions of repentance of men in this probationary state, yea, this preparatory state; for except it were for these conditions, mercy could not take effect except it should destroy the work of justice. Now the work of justice could not be destroyed; if so, God would cease to be God.

(Alma 42:13)

13 And if ye shall say there is no law, ye shall also say there is no sin. If ye shall say there is no sin, ye shall also say there is no righteousness. And if there be no righteousness there be no happiness. And if there be no righteousness nor happiness there be no punishment nor misery. And if these things are not there is no God. And if there is no God we are not, neither the earth; for there could have been no creation of things, neither to act nor to be acted upon; wherefore, all things must have vanished away.

(2 Nephi 2:13)

Two places in the Book of Mormon, we read that justice is a fundamental characteristic of God. Both Alma and Lehi put it in dramatic terms: if the universe is not just, if there is no law and no punishment, then there is no God. This truth is essential to our understanding of His plan. If we don’t recognize His absolute commitment to justice, then the rest of the plan won’t make any sense to us. Why would the Savior have to suffer and die if His Father could simply change the rules? Why would we have to repent in order to qualify for exaltation if God could simply allow unclean things into His kingdom? So the starting point for us is to understand that there is a fundamental order in our universe and that the God we worship will maintain that order.

I’m grateful for a God of perfect justice and integrity. I’m grateful that the God who requires us to be obedient to His law holds Himself to a perfect standard of conduct. He lives in harmony with eternal law, and He therefore has all power to accomplish His work, which is the exaltation of His children.

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